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Space is filled with extreme, exotic astronomical objects like active galactic nuclei, supermassive black holes, and tremendously magnetic neutron stars called magnetars…all of which are light-years from Earth, hard to see, and even harder to study.


Almost one year since launch, the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) is the first space mission dedicated to observing polarized X-rays from these amazing objects. The mission enables a new and unique way to evaluate the geometry of extreme magnetic fields by measuring the polarization angle and degree of the X-rays emitted from the regions near these objects. Hear from Ball Aerospace engineers who helped design, build, and test IXPE, and from LASP operation managers responsible for day-to-day operations of the spacecraft and instruments. They will share the journey of NASA’s newest Explorer mission from concept to launch as well as discuss IXPE’s student-run operations.


• MacKenzie Ferrie: Ball Aerospace, deputy director of programs and IXPE program manager

• William Deininger: Ball Aerospace, technical fellow, system engineering; Ball chief engineer for IXPE

• Darren Osborn: IXPE flight director, LASP

• Kacie Davis: IXPE flight controller, LASP

  • Alice Warnier
  • Richard Berman

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